Ray Davies on America, the Kinks, the Riff, and the Road

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kinks' singer/songwriter Ray Davies talks about falling in love with American movies, music, and culture as a boy in post-War England. He toured the United States with the Kinks until they were banned from performing there from 1965 to 1969. Then, when he was living in New Orleans, he was shot as a result of a botched robbery and nearly died. In Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, and the Road, the Story, Davies tries to make sense of his long love-hate relationship with the country that has both inspired and frustrated him.


Ray Davies,

Comments [8]

Andrea from Philadelphia

"Better Things" is my favorite Kinks' song. Nice to hear Bruce is also a fan.

Oct. 24 2013 12:53 PM
genejoke from Brooklyn

"Do You Remember Walter" from superb album The Village Green Preservation Society, is an amazing song. In it, you can hear the germ of ideas for the styles of hard rock, heavy metal and even My Bloody Valentine. Great vocal melodies with distortion and abrasive string-bending. Check it out if you're unfamiliar.

Oct. 24 2013 12:51 PM
Avelino Teixeira from NYC

Mr. Lopate,

I have recently found out about the Kinks but it is so hard to find their music. No MP3 but you can buy vinyl for outrageously high prices.

Oct. 24 2013 12:43 PM
Sam Gregg from Maryland

Ray is a Great American! - I've seen him several times w/ Kinks and solo..

What was his inspiration for the movie: "Return to Waterloo?" was it driven by life experience?

Oct. 24 2013 12:27 PM
lizzy from NYC

MAJOR fan-- but Lenny is right-- when they got banned, they did lose a potentially larger audience. I was wearing my brother's Kink's concert T the other night, and the younger (twenties) people in the group had NO IDEA who the Kinks were. Even after I serenaded them with the big pop hit "Lola"-- they were all still clueless. And these are connected, diversified native NYC kids of all races-- This was such a disappointment. How could they not know the KINKS but know about the Ramones??

Oct. 24 2013 12:25 PM
Carlos from 10024

Although singer Ray Davies has called tales of the Kinks’ American misbehavior “character assassination, [a] plot to destroy us,” sources close to the band confirm that they found trouble wherever they went, at least some of it of their own making. The band skipped a show in Sacramento, Ray Davies punched a union official who kept insinuating that England was already as good as Communist, and they appeared on a Dick Clark special for NBC without paying their mandatory dues to the American Federation of Television and Recording Artists. The upshot was the Federation blacklisted them–although they never gave a specific reason as to why–and the Kinks could not return to the States for over four years. Years later, Davies mused, “In many respects, that ridiculous ban took away the best years of the Kinks’ career when the original band was performing at its peak.”

Oct. 24 2013 12:23 PM
Brian from Hell's Kitchen

Sorry, Ray, but you are clearly mispronouncing your own name. If you want to be called "Davis" you should spell it "Davis."

Oct. 24 2013 12:12 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Can Mr. Davies tell us - what English football clubs, did he and his brother support as boys, and does he follow any American team sports?

Oct. 24 2013 12:06 PM

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